If you're serious about improving your skills at the plate, there are several baseball hitting aids to consider. One product is a foam-tipped bag and a practice pad. Your coach will hold the practice pad in front of you, and you'll take swings at it with the foam-tipped bat. This drill might sound simple, but it's a valuable drill for working on different types of swings that mimic the different swings that you take at the plate based on what's going on in the game. Here are three types of swings that you can employ when you hit a baseball practice pad with your coach.
Line Drive Swing
In baseball, the line drive is one of the most effective types of hits you can have. Fly balls and ground balls often result in outs, but it often takes an impressive catch by a fielder to get you out on a line drive. A line drive swing can vary based on the type of pitch and location of the ball, but you generally want to hit the ball squarely with a swing at a slightly upward trajectory. Your baseball practice pad should have a few ball icons on it, so you can practice your line drive swings at each of these targets.
Opposite Field Swing
High-level hitters have no trouble hitting with consistency to the opposite field — something that can often catch the opposition off guard. This is an important skill to work on, even for younger players, as it can significantly help your batting average. Work with your coach and your practice pad to develop a sound opposite-field swing. This swing involves adjusting your wrists in an effort to make contact with the close side of the ball — often known as "staying inside the ball." You can work on refining these swing by taking aim at each of the baseball targets on the practice pad.
Hit And Run Swing
Many baseball coaches will call for a hit and run in different scenarios. With one or more runners on base, a batter who can slap the ball into play gives his or her teammates a chance to advance a base and end up in scoring position. In a hit and run, you're trying to hit the ball through a specific gap between the infielders. As your coach holds your practice pad, he or she can call for a hit and run and tell you where you're trying to hit the baseball — for example, between shortstop and second base.